Tanya Paluso is Goddess of the Week!
"The inner game of building your tribe is that we have to share our souls with one another and we have to get that we are not alone. When we connect with that part of ourselves, and then tell on ourselves essentially, that’s when people feel most connected to us, and that’s how we build tribe. It’s through our truth telling and through our vulnerability."
- Tanya Paluso, co-founder and CEO of Tribal Truth
Tanya Paluso is on a mission to help women reclaim their true expression and shift the planet to a new paradigm of feminine leadership, partnership and collaboration. She is the c0-founder and CEO of Tribal Truth, a national community of spiritually-conscious women entrepreneurs empowering, collaborating, and supporting one another as they share their message with the world through online social networking and live events. "Tribal Truth puts a tribe behind women’s dreams," says Tanya.With her lifelong passion for community building, Tanya has become known to many as "The Tribe Builder." Check out the wisdom coming through this inspiring Goddess ...Tabby Biddle: You are on a mission to help women reclaim their true expression in life. Why are you so passionate about this?Tanya Paluso: I'm a truth seeker and have been on this path since I was little. For me, we are on this earth for a reason and it is so important that we step into our purpose. We each have a unique gift to share and it’s our duty in this lifetime to find out what that is and express it in the world. I am passionate about women being empowered and awake to share their gifts as a way of us ending our suffering.Tabby: Can you say more about the suffering you are talking about?Tanya: There’s suffering of people in third world countries that are starving and going through wars – there’s that type of suffering. But what I’m talking about is people who are living in a first world country who have material wealth, and are still suffering. What I am seeing in the world is that we have people the most disconnected, lonely and unhappy in probably all of human history. I think it’s when we start to consciously wake up and live on a path of purpose, we find that happiness, that connection, and that fulfillment.Tabby: You talk to women about putting a tribe behind their dream. Why do you think a tribe is so important for women?Tanya: Tribe is critical right now for our success in transitioning to the new paradigm on this planet. The new paradigm is full of love, abundance, peace and collaboration. There is no separation. We are all connected. We are all one tribe. There will be some subsets of the global tribe that resonate with your message and purpose. We want to find those people to leverage our message and make more of an impact. When you do things on your own, it's like you forget the connection piece. You lose out on opportunities for growth expansion and community. There is something also very powerful about tribe because of the friendship with purpose. Tabby: You describe the new paradigm on this planet as full of love, abundance, peace and collaboration. Where does your “knowingness” of this come from?Tanya: Are you familiar with the Pachamama Alliance? I did the Awakening the Dreamer facilitator training program with them this weekend. Their whole quest is bridging the indigenous from the Amazon with modern technology so that we can save the planet. They have what’s called a Symposium. It’s a 3 to 5 hour workshop teaching people about where we are right now in terms of environmental, social justice, and spiritual fulfillment on the planet, and then what we can start doing as individuals, and as a community to start developing a more sustainable world.We did an exercise this weekend where they said: “Many of you have been on this path since you were children and you’ve had this inner knowing.” Most of us started crying in that moment. I’ve always known. It’s just that intuition, that inner knowing, and that connection with spirit that we all have. I know that there is a better way of doing things versus all of our systems and institutions that are starting to crumble. War just doesn’t make sense. As I go further on my path and with Tribal Truth, I’m more and more in that knowing. It’s becoming more and more ingrained in every cell of my body.Tabby: You mentioned that you’ve been a truth seeker since your were little. Tell me about that.Tanya: In middle school my mom basically yanked me and my brother out of Sunday school and said: “You believe in whatever you want.” She grew up going to Catholic School, and said, “I don’t want you to do that. I want you to make your own decision.” That left a profound mark. I started to do a little research and reading. I didn’t have a spiritual practice, but I had this interest in Asian medicine, in acupuncture, and in Buddhism.In high school, I was sick a lot. Pretty much through all of high school I dealt with illness. I remember crying to my mom, “I’m sick of being sick.” I just felt so lost. I was surrounded by community, but I felt so lost and unhappy and was suffering so much. That continued through college, and continued through when I moved to New York when I was working in Corporate America. I just felt really lonely. Then someone introduced me to Landmark Education. That’s when the spark went off for me.
“I immersed myself in the work there, and that completely opened up the path for me. It was like I was unveiled.”
And so from there, I went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In that program where you are learning how to become a health counselor, I was working with this woman who was highly spiritual. She was the first one to teach me about the connection between the mind and the body, and how any pain in my body was a manifestation of some thought or some feeling. That really opened me up. I just wanted to eat up every little spiritual lesson. Then I went to Vipassana meditation as I transitioned from New York to California. That took it to a whole new level. I’m actually going this month. Since I've moved back to San Diego, I go every August.Tabby: Aside from founding Tribal Truth, you founded a non-profit called Play 4 Life. Tell me about that.Tanya: Play 4 Life is a non-profit to teach inner-city kids about health and nutrition. It is still in existence, which is exciting to know I started something, gave it away, and it was sustained. The way it started was that when I was working in Corporate America, I started a community project for the women in the sales team to mentor girls. I loved the work, and wanted to do something bigger. It started as an idea to bring yoga into schools. Then I found out about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I started school there a few months later and started down the path of holistic health, spirituality and making a difference for others.Tabby: What does being a feminine leader mean to you?Tanya: Being a feminine leader to me means finding the balance between feminine and masculine. We need the masculine in business -- the structure, accountability, results. We need the feminine so we can tap into our internal power and intuition so we don't burn out our adrenals and thyroid from "pushing" too much. Feminine leadership is really about getting our needs met so we can make a difference for others. It's about speaking our truth and connecting with others. It's also about leading others to find their own answers from within instead of telling people what to do -- where sometimes I go when I'm super passionate. So this is a work in progress.And most importantly, it's understanding our connection to Mother Earth and awakening ourselves to the issues on this planet and how we play a role in it and how we can soften people away from hate, oppression, aggression and war to a more loving, peaceful and collaborative place.Tabby: Your community is called Tribal Truth, you encourage women to speak their truth, and your blog is called Truth Telling Tuesday. Truth is obviously a big theme for you. What does Truth mean to you exactly?Tanya: You know what’s so cool? I didn’t even name the company. Novalena came up with the name Tribal Truth. It didn’t really make sense to me when she made it up. Why Tribal Truth? Then she transitioned out, and Tribal Truth has become such an expression of who I am. As we transitioned out of our partnership, that’s when my voice really came alive. It’s just starting to dawn on me what’s been created and what an amazing download that came to Novalena. I am so grateful for her.The Truth Telling Tuesday – that’s who I am. What I mean by that is authentic, vulnerable, wear my soul and my heart on my sleeve. I’ve always suppressed my voice, and now it’s coming out in such a major way. But that’s always who I’ve been - the seeker, always looking to go deeper. It’s so funny because I’ve just kind of discovered that, but that’s how everyone has always known me. It’s like an unconsciousness that then reveals itself.
"This weekend I shared about my breakup and I was crying. And people said, 'Oh my God. That’s so beautiful to see you open up.' Their hearts went out to me when I shared that vulnerable place in myself."
It’s those emotions we think we can’t share, and think we have to hide them because people are going to judge us. It’s not about airing your dirty laundry, but it’s about sharing that inner part of yourself that you don’t necessarily want people to see. That’s when you heal and that’s when people feel connected to you. It takes so much courage. I am not telling people that it is easy. But you are going to have the most healing when you do it.Tabby: Did you ever struggle with finding your purpose?Tanya: Of course I've had challenges on my journey to find my purpose and I think it is important for women to know it's taken me since 2004 on this path of self-development to finally come to Tribal Truth. Here's the thing: I always stayed in action, kept searching, growing and developing myself, and kept evolving. My advice is just get started. You will eventually find your perfect fit. And even then, it will continue to change and grow as you do.Tabby: What does being a Goddess mean to you?Tanya: There are different elements. The first is the connection with the planet, and the connection with the earth and nature. I think of myself as a kid walking barefoot in the forest. That’s the first image I get of the Goddess. The second is the softening - the listening, the stillness, and the sadness. The Goddess is like our compassion for Mother Earth and for all human beings. And then nurturing. There is the nurturing element. And then of course there is that aliveness, and the dancing, and coming together in community and celebrating. I see all of these as different aspects of the Goddess.Tabby: Do you feel there is an awakening of the Goddess going on in both women AND men?Tanya: Oh yes, absolutely. It’s interesting all the conscious men coming about right now. I call it men stepping into being the peaceful warrior. There are so many men who are coming on this path and are aching for it. They are on this quest for their purpose, and then they are trying to figure out how to interact with us. It’s an amazing conversation that’s happening. I think there are a lot of men who are starting to see the connection between taking care of Mother Earth and taking care of that feminine energy that is starting to emerge on the planet.Tabby: If you had a loudspeaker that could be heard by all women and girls around the world, what message would you want to impart?Tanya: You are not alone, and don’t try to do it on your own. Find your tribe where you can be fully self-expressed, where you feel safe, and then connect. Allow yourself to be part of it.
To learn more about Tribal Truth and find out what is happening near you, visit www.tribal-truth.com.
To participate in a Tanya's FREE Tribe Builder Teleclass on August 10 - How to Apply The Oprah Effect to Inspire Your Tribe Into Action - click here.
Tabby Biddle, M.S. Ed., is a writer, writing coach, and Goddess retreat leader dedicated to amplifying the voices of women changemakers. Her writing has been featured by The Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, NPR, Current TV, Gaiam and other popular online media. She lives in Santa Monica, CA with her husband and 4-month old kitty, Max Frederick.